Wednesday, 15 April 2015


If you are waking up with acute pain at your heel, then mostly you are suffering from plantar fasciitis. This is one of the most common foot problems. Many times pain is very severe & disabling.

What is plantar fasciitis?

Plantar Fasciitis (plantar fasciosis) is inflammation of the plantar fascia. The planar fascia is a strong bowstring like ligament that runs from the calcaneus (Heel Bone) to the tip of the foot. When the plantar fascia is stretched too far its soft tissue fibers become inflamed, usually where it attaches to the heel bone. Sometimes the problem may occur in the middle of the foot. The patient experiences pain under the foot, especially after long period of rest. If inflammation persists for longer duration it can lead to calcaneal spur.

Causes: Plantar Fasciitis is not usually caused by a single injury, such as a twist or fall, but rather the result of repetitive stress and pounding of the heel. Still following factors play important role in increasing severity of plantar fasciitis.

  1. Arch Type: Flat feet, High arch or in between.
  2. Footwear: Wearing too flat or too high heel footwear.
  3. Lifestyle: Continuous standing, walking  or running.
  4. Body weight: Overweight results in more stress on platar fascia.
  5. Osteoporosis: Weak bones will aggravate pain.

  • Pain at the heel when standing.
  • Throbbing or piercing type of pain.
  • Pain in the first few steps in the morning after a period of inactivity.
  • Pain while walking barefoot, on toes or while climbing stairs.
  • Tenderness along the inferior surface of the heel

Causes: Plantar Fasciitis is not usually caused by a single injury, such as a twist or fall, but rather the result of repetitive stress and pounding of the heel. Still following factors play important role in increasing severity of plantar fasciitis.

  • Rest: Temporary rest is important to allow plantar fascia to heal
  • Cold pack: Helps to reduce inflammation. Recommended 3-4 times a day, 20 minutes each time (Not recommended for diabetic patient)
  • Taping
  • Right orthotics: To support your plantar fascia & correct your faulty alignment
  • Supportive shoes: Orthotics with proper supportive shoe gives long term relief
  • Exercises: Generally higher arched feet require a strict stretching program and flat feet require a gradual strengthening program and more support.  One should not do stretching in acute pain.
What to avoid:

  1. Barefeet walking on hard surfaces 
  2. Wearing too flat or too high heeled footwear
  3. Heel Cushions: Silicone or foam heel cushions commonly available from pharmacies do nothing to actually cure this condition and at best provide temporary comfort.

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More Attentive for Gadgets

Kids of the modern era face several health issues owing to the growing interest in technology and its smart gadgets. Most of the kids are seen with their heads buried behind computers, smart phones or playing digital games.

This has led to a decline in the overall physical activity of kids. It’s general knowledge that there is direct proportion between reduced physical activity and increase in weight, which has led to increase incidence of childhood obesity. 

In addition, reduced physical activity may lead to decreased muscle tone & strength, ligament laxity, poor reflexes, core muscle weakness, improper posture, poor balance, altered gait mechanics and reduced activity endurance. Apart from these physical changes they develop several behavioral issues such as aggressiveness, hostility, reduced social and self awareness, and increase in frustration.

It is essential to start interventions at an early stage when the child is still developing. Once this development is complete the changes that have already manifested cannot be reverted to normal. Many parents popularly believe that if they indulge their kids in sports, swimming, karate etc it will help in keeping their child active. But the child needs to be physically fit before participating in such challenging activities. The ideal way to tackle this problem is through physical exercise. But it is practically not possible to make kids follow an exercise programme regularly, as it is dull and boring for them. Therefore the more practical approach is to engage the child in a structured, tailor made, fun filled and interactive activity based programme which will focus on dealing with their specific problems. This will not only improve their physical fitness but will also enhance their performance in the sport or activity of their choice and help them to excel. Moreover it will help in reducing the risk of serious injuries in future.

The first step towards this intervention is a detailed and exclusive assessment. The assessment should 
  • Assessment of Muscle tone.
  • Assessment of Muscular imbalance.
  • Assessment of Posture.
  •  Assessment of Balance & Co-ordination.
  •  Gait Analysis.
  •  Foot screening (foot alignment).

The data thus obtained will help in determining the target areas and aid in the treatment approach. As mentioned earlier the treatment will be tailor made and focus on improving the problems identified and also improve endurance and agility.

                         This is the time to understand that our modern lifestyle is taking a huge toll on physical health of our young generation. Structured activity based programme can prevent lots of future musculoskeletal complications. It is imperative that we provide our kids with a strong foundation so that they can successfully reach new heights without the fear of falling….
Play Of Joy
                                                            -Dr. Sarika Jambhulkar & Dr. Vilas Jambhulkar